"Every tutor has been amazing and have all embodied the person-centred approach and the other qualities that we need to have as counsellors."
I have a natural interest in people, but it was my work in social services which prompted me to go into counselling. In my social services work, I visited elderly and disabled people and those with mental health problems. I started my counselling training in Wigan but following a major bereavement I found myself pretty much starting again and looking to study a degree.
The course at Edge Hill University was ideal as it concentrated on a person-centred, experiential model of counselling. It also emphasised an emotion and process focused approach to therapy. Also, Graham Westwell, my previous tutor and a professional I respect a lot, is now programme leader on the BA (Hons) Counselling & Psychotherapy course at Edge Hill, so I was ecstatic to get a place.
Every tutor has been amazing and have all embodied the person-centred approach and the other qualities that we need to have as counsellors. They are supportive and encouraging while also being respectful of people’s differences.
The whole course recognises different strengths with assessments that are conducted in several ways. So, you will do presentations and placements as well as written work.
Counselling sessions are recorded so that you can reflect and receive feedback on your performance. The course is designed to help everyone to enhance their skills and achieve their potential.
Without doubt, my favourite aspect of the course was the Personal Development (PD) module. This relational group session, where we talked about our own and other people’s experiences, was invaluable. It encourages you to become a reflective practitioner and to think about issues like your unconscious judgements. I even completed my dissertation on Students’ experiences of flourishing in the PD group. It was hard at times but I enjoyed conducting research and the experience ultimately came with a massive amount of satisfaction.
I am in the process of setting up my own private counselling practice and know that wouldn’t have been possible without this degree. It helps you to develop and to trust your own way of being – the skills, self-confidence and awareness that you need to be a good counsellor.
There were times when I doubted myself, but I kept going and am proud to say that I got a first. This course has literally been life changing and I have experienced a huge amount of personal growth which has assisted my practice as a counsellor and psychotherapist.